Out of this World in the City of Bones

Derry marks the 30th anniversary of its world famous Halloween celebrations with extraterrestrial events across the city and Strabane

Festival Details


Thursday, 27 October 2016 to Monday, 31 October 2016

Image by Dan Brady

This year’s Hallowe’en celebrations in Derry and Strabane promise to be Out of this World when the city and district throws a party like no other as it celebrates 30 years of being spooktacular.

The official 'Best Hallowe’en Destination in the world' is gearing itself up for the best celebration yet with a packed programme of events and activities for revellers of all ages to enjoy and participate in.

Among the key highlights of the festival include a welcome return of the Awakening of the Walls when the ancient City Walls will come to life with music, animation and light, creating a realm of fantasy fire and flame from Friday 28 to Sunday October 30 from 6-8pm each night.

Other highlights include spooky Gothic organ recitals at the Guildhall on the evening of Sunday October 30, terrifying haunted tours at the Tower Museum, Weird and Wonderful Witches Tales at the Guildhall, a Hallowe’en panto at Strabane’s Alley Theatre, Monstrous Halloween workshops and Storytelling at Strabane Community Library and family entertainment including mask making workshops and arts and crafts at the Craft Village.

New to this year is a Made in Derry Halloween focused food tour on Saturday October 29 from 12-4pm where you can adorn your favourite Halloween costume and eat and drink your way around the city centre and sample delights from over 30 different food and drink producers and venues.

On Hallowe’en night Monday October 31, both Derry and Strabane will host an evening of fun and entertainment when the City of Bones Street Carnival Parade will make its way along Derry’s Queen’s Quay from 7pm followed by a fabulous Fireworks Finale at 8pm, while in Strabane, the Upper Main Street car park will be transformed into a family friendly fun area from 7-8.30pm and a fireworks display over the River Mourne at 8pm.

Other highlights happening in and around the Council area over the Hallowe’en holidays include the Castlederg Apple Fair, Hallowe’en Fun Fair at Ebrington and a horror movie week at the Nerve Centre, as well as treasure hunts and spooky bat and ghost tours at Creggan Country Park while the Riverwatch Aquarium will play host to a series of fantastic ghoulish events including a Shark Night and a Barn Owl Prowl.

Gray’s Printing Press in Strabane will host an day of Bewitching Tales while Trick or Treat tours will leave from the Alley Theatre and the Riversdale Leisure Centre will host a Hallowe’en Pool Disco.

The city streets will also be lit up by the addition of Spark! - an energetic new street threatre performance featuring high impact drumming, dynamic choreography and beautiful lighting designs. Audiences can see Spark! in Waterloo Place on October 29 and 30 at 5pm; 6.30pm and 8pm and on October 31 at 5pm and will also be part of the Carnival parade.

A memorable feature of 2015, the prehistoric river creatures named Saurus will also make a welcome return to the festivities for all to marvel at. These powerful street walkabout creatures created quite a buzz in Derry’s city centre last year with their explosive fire performances and distinctive roar that could be heard across the city and beyond.

Saurus will perform in Derry’s Waterloo Place on October 30 at 3.30 pm; 5.45pm and 7.15pm with a performance at 4.00pm on October 31, as well as participation in the Carnival parade. The Saurus characters will take their unique performance to Strabane on the afternoon of Saturday October 29 at 2pm, 4pm & 6.30pm from Alley Theatre.

For more info on events in Derry City and Strabane District for Halloween visit www.derrystrabane.com/halloween or follow on Facebook.